Pretend I posted this a year ago, that I didn’t have to scrounge through my photos and calendars to remember what it was I did that year.
Also pretend I’ve been posting pictures and writing about my travels, because maybe that’ll encourage such content to magically come into existence. Although I believe it would still require some work on my part…
This will cover up to me giving up my bedsit in September 2015; so, everything before Eurotrip.
After a year I felt properly established over there. For instance, one of the last things I did in Canada before moving was buy a big “CANADA” hoodie from HBC; I wore it once, then hid it away because it made me feel like a tourist. After a year, tho, I found it at the back of the closet and started wearing it again, because I no longer particularly cared what anyone thought — I was past the point of trying to fit in. Similarly, for my 34th birthday I didn’t make much of a fuss; for my 35th, I had a crowd of people at Foley’s Pub on Baggot Street, and it was great craic (a word I haven’t used for a year, now!).
On the downside, I had some issues with work, which I won’t particularly go into here. I had the option of getting my then-current (and present!) employer to sponsor me for a working visa; or I could’ve applied for other work in Ireland with the hope of sponsorship after my working holiday visa ran out. But I didn’t chase down those opportunities, which I greatly regret still.
But, on the whole, it was a good year! I had good routines established. I explored, traveled, and had adventures. My biggest regrets are simply that I let it come to an end.
- Cologne (December, 2014)
- So many Christmas markets! So much chocolate!
- Montreal (December 2014)
- Family Christmas! My first time back to Canada since leaving. 🙂
- Hogmanay (December 2014, January 2015)
- Party in Edinburgh, followed by a New Year’s trip through the Highlands to the Isle of Skye. 😀 I had literally one night between returning to Ireland after Christmas and flying to Scotland for New Years.
- Victoria, Calgary, and Vancouver (February and March 2015)
- GottaCon was the excuse — and even though I managed to play an entire two games while there, it was totally worth it (doubly so since it became the final GottaCon). Followed by a trip to Calgary to see the rest of my family (fortuitously timed, too), and then to Vancouver to catch up with everyone I’d left behind and discover that the world moved on without me.
- Brussels (April 2015)
- Frites! Waffles! And a daytrip to Bruges!
- Copenhagen (June 2015)
- Another quick jaunt. In retrospect I should’ve taken the opportunity to pop over to Sweden, which is literally visible from Kronburg Castle in Helsingør. Nifty place, tho.
- Spain (September 2015)
- I went to Granada for YAPC::EU; Terifa for the beach; Tangiers mostly so I could said I’d been there. It was sunny and hot and everything I wanted, and for the first time in two years I had a tan.
- Bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher (November 2014)
- One last bit of touring with Paul before he moved back to Canada. I’d already seen the cliffs, but I got to see some more of Limerick and the Burren.
- Howth Head (March 2015)
- Going to Howth is basically the Dublin equivalent of going to White Rock, except for the gorgeous walks. I never did go over to Ireland’s Eye…
- Car racing in Naas (July 2015)
- With Pete and Jenn. Because there’s car racing in Ireland, for reals.
- Belfast again! (July 2015)
- Again with Pete and Jenn. We were hanging out a lot at the point. And Belfast is awesome, and they knew exactly where to go (St. George’s Market) for delicious doughnuts and cuban sandwiches.
- Bray to Greystones walk (August 2015)
- 10 klicks along the hills against the ocean. Ended by going up Bray Head yet again. Beautiful.
Touristy stuff in Dublin
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral (January 2015)
- It took me a year, but I finally checked it out.
- Dublin Castle (June 2015)
- I finally took a tour of the place, and it was surprizingly awesome, actually! It’s much more impressive on the inside, plus interesting history (including an explanation of why it’s still called “Dublin Castle”, when it’s clearly a palace).
- Government Buildings (August 2015?)
- I got to go instead the Taoiseach’s office. For my fellow Canadians, think the Prime Minister’s Office. We didn’t go to the Dáil, but we saw pretty much everything else.
- Phoenix Park.
- Saw the deer, did I. At one point I tried to get a tour of Áras an Uachtaráin, but the tickets were gone ridiculously early in the morning.
- Took the Viking Splash tour
- You see the aquabuses touring around Dublin, filled with people wearing Viking helmets yelling “YARR!” at random people. How could I resist?
- Dublin Writers Museum
- Better than I’d expected, actually!
- Dublin Print Museum
- In Beggars Bush, right by my place. Has a copy of the 1916 proclamation.
- Traditional Music Tour in Temple Bar
- A fellow I knew from UNBC was meeting with some friends of his in Dublin, and invited me to join ’em. It was grand.
- Trad at O’Donohue’s
- Remember me to the pubs of Baggot Street. Tho, funny, the bartender said he was sick of trad.
- Glasnevin Cemetery and Dublin Botanical Gardens
- Fun fact: Parnell was buried in a cholera pit. And I walked across the Angel’s Square before I found out what it was…
- Iveagh Gardens
- A hidden park just south of Stephen’s Green. It took a while for me to find an entrance, but it was well worth it.
Rather, experiences I don’t want to forget.
- My commute
- Mornings: Walk across the bridge and down Lower Mount Street to Merrion Square, turning right at the end of the park. Swing left to grab a morning flat white and pan au chocolate at Cafe Tri Via, then cut through Trinity College Dublin all the way to College Green.
Return #1: Walk down Grafton to Nassau Street. Follow it all the way to Merrion Square, across the bridge, and then home.
Return #2: Walk down Grafton Street to St. Stephen’s Green. Continue on to Baggot Street. Pop into Tesco’s for groceries, and then make my way back to the Grand Canal and home.
- Cake Cafe
- How to get there:
1) Find the decoupage store on Camden Street.
2) Walk through the store and out the back exit.
3) Cake and coffee!
- Aussie BBQ
- This is from memory, but I’m pretty sure I ordered crocodile, kangaroo, and chicken skewers. Definitely three types of meat, and I’m 90% certain about the crocodile
- A friend worked there. I popped in randomly over lunch one day and it was crazy busy, and there was some sort of photo op going on in the back. It turns out the Taoiseach was there, and I’d forgotten my phone at work. >_>
- Meetup groups.
- They were how I met people, honestly. If I hadn’t tried them out I would’ve been miserable.
- Insomnia Coffee
- Seriously, my plan every weekend involved wandering into an Insomnia and ordering a large cappucino with a brownie for four euros. Such a great deal.
- Costa Coffee
- I went there nearly every workday in the afternoon. It was the perfect excuse to walk down Fleet Street, get a sample of the goings-on in Temple Bar, and peruse the Friday book market.
- Weekend walks
- Pretty much every weekend I’d either wander to Grafton Street, or through Herbert Park, or go along the river Poddle, or even the Sandymount Strand.
- Eddie Rockets on Baggot Street Upper
- For when I didn’t particularly want to cook.